Shane and Leonie Close are overwhelmed with grief about the death of their younger brother Darryl after an assault at a pub in Kyogle.
Shane and Leonie Close are overwhelmed with grief about the death of their younger brother Darryl after an assault at a pub in Kyogle. Marc Stapelberg

Assault victim dies in hospital

"I HAVE lost part of myself," says Dawn Close, heartbroken by the death of her youngest son.

Darryl Close, 35, died on Saturday.

He sustained massive head injuries after an assault outside a Kyogle pub on November 12.

Police allege that Darryl was punched, then fell and hit his head on the pavement.

He was taken to Kyogle Hospital, and then transferred to the Gold Coast Hospital, where he died a week later.

A man, 28, has been charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and is on conditional bail to appear in Kyogle Local Court on December 15.

Richmond Local Area Command Detective Sergeant Matt Kehoe said there had been no additional charges since Darryl's death.

"Investigators attended the post-mortem in Brisbane and they are yet to return to the command," he said.

"Police are still undertaking further inquiries."

Ms Close and her family are keen for answers.

"My heart is in so much grief for my son, my baby," she said.

"I am very sad about what has happened.

"Now my son is not here anymore; he did not deserve this. No family deserves this."

Emotions are raw at the family home in Muli Muli, an Aboriginal community near Woodenbong.

Darryl's extended family - his mother, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins - have rallied together, in shock over the loss of a "loveable man".

His sister, Leonie Close, said Darryl never looked for trouble.

"He was the kind of man who looked after everyone and everyone loved him," she said.

"He was mum's carer.

"He was always here for her, looking after her and taking her places.

"And Darryl was finishing off his Certificate III in Tourism and he was really excited about starting our own tourism business, doing tours around our country.

"There was a lot to look forward to.

"He had his whole life ahead of him."

Ms Close says her son was an excellent cook and wanted to be a chef.

"He loved to cook for his family," she said.

"His meals were very good and always very well presented.

"Having meals together, that was something we always did.

"My son was also brainy and well educated. I was proud."

Leonie said Darryl was a "beautiful brother".

She said the family and the whole community felt a huge sense of loss with Darryl's death.

"There is a big hole," she said.

But as a respected Githabul elder, Ms Close has called on her family to keep any feelings of anger under control.

She has ordered "no more violence".

"All I want is a better future for my children, my family and my people," she said.

But at the moment her family is struggling.

Breaking into tears, Shane Close said he couldn't bear to go back to Kyogle, where his brother was allegedly punched.

"That pub ... it's right near work," he said.

"I can't go back to work. It's too hard.

"But it doesn't matter.

"A job means nothing when I know I won't ever get to see my little brother again."



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